The UK underfloor heating market  is forecast to grow by 7% in 2018

The UK underfloor heating market is forecast to grow by 7% in 2018

September 2018

AMA Research’s ‘Underfloor Heating Market Report - UK 2018-2022’, an in-depth piece of research containing insight, statistics and forecasts on the UK’s underfloor heating market up until 2022, predicts that the market will grow by 7% in 2018.  Here TSJ summarises this report’s main findings.

The UK’s underfloor heating (UFH) market has performed well over the last few years, driven by good levels of commercial and domestic construction and RMI, and now accounts for almost 7% of the total UK heating systems sector.

More recent growth can also be attributed to rising energy prices and concerns over fuel bills, and the fact that UFH is now seen as a more affordable mainstream heating option.  In 2017, the market grew by 6%, with similar growth forecast for 2018.

The domestic sector accounts for almost two-thirds of the overall UFH market value, and includes new build activity by housebuilders, the self-build market and RMI / DIY retrofit projects in residential homes.  Non-domestic applications account for the remainder.  Although large-scale health and education projects represent the most significant non-domestic end-user markets, opportunities are arising in the care home, industrial, warehousing, leisure and entertainment, commercial office, and retail sectors.

Water-based underfloor heating makes up the largest share by value, compared to electric systems.  The supply structure is dominated by direct supply, with some manufacturers and other specialists offering a ‘supply and fit’ service.  Elsewhere, UFH systems increasingly form a core component of the product ranges of companies such as tile manufacturers and kitchen and bathroom specialists.  DIY multiples and merchants also continue to play a major role.  Much of the recent growth in the market has come from online retailers, the number of which continues to expand.  The sale of complete UFH packs as a ‘one stop solution’ has helped to fuel growth, particularly at the lower end of the market.

Factors that influence demand for underfloor heating include housebuilding activity, which is expected to continue at a steady pace, as demand for new and affordable housing is likely to remain a major political issue.  The conversion of commercial office spaces into multi-residential flats and apartments, particularly in areas of high population density, should create additional opportunities for UFH, as they are likely to be smaller in size and high-spec.

An array of product innovations has made UFH systems easier to install, broadening their appeal for the retrofit market.  This includes systems, both wet and electric, which can be laid over existing floors, thereby minimising disruption and speeding up installation.  Low profile UFH options are now widely available, which reduce the impact on floor height, enabling greater flexibility.

Ease of installation continues to be an important consideration within construction, given the ongoing skills shortages and a need to reduce both build time and cost.  This is expected to contribute towards further growth in modular build/off-site construction, which should benefit the UFH market; with UFH systems suitable for installation in bathroom/kitchen PODS, as well as precast concrete flooring.  Retrofit activity in both the domestic and commercial sectors are also expected to see steady growth.

The continuing trend towards open-plan design favours use of UFH, since it is hidden beneath the floor, with no need for wall mounting, and this is a particular benefit in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms where space may be at a premium.  Hard flooring also continues to grow in popularity, with greater use of ceramic tile, stone and timber finishes as the preferred design choice, and systems are available for use under stone and ceramic tiles, as well as other flooring materials.

In addition, the commitment towards further development of the renewable energy sector and sustainable homes should continue, irrespective of whether the Government meets its 2020 targets, and this is likely to favour adoption of UFH.

Growth will also be driven by product development focused on flexibility and maximising individual control of systems, which is likely to increase the efficiency of UFH systems further, and the increasing uptake of intelligent technology.

Although the market value has increased by almost 25% since 2013, there remains significant scope for growth in this sector.  The level of installations remains low compared with European countries such as Germany and the Nordic nations.

Penetration is forecast to continue to grow with demand driven by concerns over volatile energy bills, ongoing running costs of systems and maximising comfort, and the fact that underfloor heating is becoming a more mainstream product.

This article is based on data from AMA Research’s Underfloor Heating Market Report - UK 2018-2022.  Contact: or call 01242 235724.

New housing and sustainability issues set to boost world-wide UFH sales
The global underfloor heating system market was valued at US$ 2.53 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach US$ 4.23 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5% during the forecast period.
The latest report by Markets and Markets, the USA-based research company, took 2016 as the base year to produce an in-depth forecast for the period 2017 to 2023.  The aim was to forecast the market size of various segments of the UFH market, across three main regions: North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific

This extensive report provides detailed information regarding the major factors influencing the growth of the market; analyses the value chain and market roadmaps; investigates micromarkets with regard to individual growth trends, prospects, and contributions to the total market; as well as profiling the key players, product launches, and R&D activity in the UFH market.

Markets and Markets identified the key global players as Danfoss (Denmark), Uponor Corporation (Finland), Emersion Electric (US), Honeywell International (US), and Robert Bosch (Germany).   Other major manufacturers include Pentair (US), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Japan), Schneider Electric (France), Siemens AG (Germany), and Nexans (France).

The report segments the UFH system market by component, type, installation, application, and geography.

By component, it considers heating cables, heating mats, sensors, and thermostats in the electric UFH segment, and heating pipes, manifolds, sensors, and thermostats in the hydronic (wet) UFH segment.
Both new and retrofit installation are considered across the commercial, residential, entertainment, industrial, healthcare, and education sectors.  The global span of the report covers the USA, Canada, and Mexico in North America; UK, France, Scandinavia, Germany, and the rest of Europe in Europe; and China, Japan, South Korea and the rest of APAC in the APAC region.

As stated earlier, Markets and Markets expect the UFH system market to reach US$ 4.23 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 7.5% between 2017 and 2023; with progress in R&D facilities, increasing demand for renewable energy products, and encouragement of energy efficient products being the key drivers.

The new installation segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR between 2017 and 2023. The market for new housing offers UFH a significant opportunity, as more rigorous energy-efficiency legislation is being introduced in developed nations with changes to building regulations supporting sustainable homes.  

For example, in the UK, the code for sustainable homes was introduced by the Government in 2007 to improve the environmental specification of new homes.  The code measures the sustainability of a new home against nine categories of sustainable design. The specification ranges from levels 0 to 6 (zero carbon).  The code sets minimum standards for energy use at each level, in addition to some mandatory elements that should be met.  Owing to all these new standards, this market is expected to grow rapidly during the forecast period.

Europe was the leading market for underfloor heating systems in 2016.  Higher levels of insulation driven by regulatory requirements and initiatives are contributing to a reduction in the overall heating load, making underfloor heating a more practical and efficient heating solution for Europe.  Moreover, Scandinavia is the coldest place in Europe.  People in Scandinavian countries require heating sources throughout the year.  Moreover, in particular, growing environmental and energy-efficiency concerns are seeing a greater influence in the specification of underfloor heating products as European countries move toward a low-carbon economy.  Furthermore, underfloor heating designs are predominantly concerned with delivering increased energy efficiencies.  For example, the development of “intelligent” underfloor heating controls that can closely monitor system energy consumption to reduce waste and running costs.  These benefits are driving this market in Europe.

Tiles or stones can be very cold, especially in winter season.  The best solution is to heat homes with radiant heating, i.e., underfloor heating.  UFH is thus poised to experience exponential growth.  However, skilled labour is required at all levels of the value chain.  The UFH systems require fine tuning and the custom fabrication of parts during installation to work properly to avoid failure.  If the installation is not done by a skilled professional, then the end user typically would need to pay more in the long run for repairs or it may not work efficiently.  The requirement for skilled labour is expected to incur additional costs to the system. Also, the operating costs of UFH might be lower than other heating systems, but installation costs are typically higher.  These are few constraints of UFH systems, which could hinder the growth of the market.

Denmark’s Danfoss leads the UFH market.  The company has adopted acquisition as a key strategy.  The strategic acquisitions offer a growth opportunity to the company, especially while foraying new markets and launching products and services.  For instance, in September 2014, the company has acquired Vacon, a leading AC driver player, to strengthen its heating and cooling business.  This acquisition has enhanced the competitiveness and innovation of the company in the AC drives market and further improved the position of Danfoss in the market.  Also, some of the expansions in developing countries provide an opportunity to cater to a large number of customers and to establish in emerging economies such as India and China.
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